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Thomas Caterer (1825–1917)

from Advertiser

The death is announced of Mr. Thomas Caterer at Stanmore Private Hospital, in his 92nd year. Mr. Caterer was born in 1825, and was descended from a long line of Oxford yeomanry, which was at all time his pride. He was a son of the manse, his father being the Rev. I. Caterer, of Peppard, Oxfordshire. He was educated at Lewisham College, where he had a distinguished career. Choosing the profession of his father, he was for some time on the staff of Taunton College, Somersetshire. Eventually he was associated with the late Professor Newth in the conduct of one of the large private schools at Reading, Berkshire. In 1854 he was ordered by his medical advisers to seek the advantages of a less rigorous climate. He gave up great prospects in England, and came to Australia in the David Malcolm. He was first associated in Adelaide with the late Mr. J. L. Young, and then for some time he was in the service of the Education Department, during which period he was headmaster of the Port Adelaide school. Later on he established himself at the Grammar School, Norwood, and eventually he opened the Semaphore Collegiate School, from which he retired in 1904. It is hard to estimate the mark he has left on the earlier education of the State. A born teacher, of scholarly attainments, his profession was at all times an engrossing pleasure to him. Though he was a strict disciplinarian, he knew when to be indescribably gentle. He was a man of a thousand,—a cultured, wise, brave, English gentleman. No boy ever learnt anything from him but what was honorable, manly, and straightforward. He has passed away, full of years and honor, a man absolutely true to the noble conception, of his office, whose memory will live in the grateful hearts of all his boys. His busy life gave him little opportunity for public affairs, though he at all times took a deep interest in them. He was at one time Mayor of Kensington and Norwood. He had a very profound faith in the possibilities find resources of Australia, and loved the land for what it had done for him. In his early days in the State he was keenly interested in athletics. He was a fine cricketer, being a brilliant batsman, and was associated, with the old East Torrens team, of which Sir Edwin Smith was also a member. The two were always the closest of friends. He retained his faculties until the end, notwithstanding his great age, and passed away peacefully. A wonderful walker, he regularly at 80 years of age walked from his home at Woodville to morning service at Port Adelaide, and returned by train. He has left two sons—Mr. T. Ainsley Caterer (acting headmaster of St. Peter's College, and clerk of the Senate of the University of Adelaide), and Mr. G. R. Caterer, of Greenthorpe, New South Wales—and a daughter, Miss Caterer.

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Citation details

'Caterer, Thomas (1825–1917)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


Tetsworth, Oxfordshire, England


4 January, 1917 (aged ~ 92)
Gilberton, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

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